Memories of Lives, Memories of Vines

Memorie di Vite 2018
Red Wine
100% Carignano
Arborea, Sardegna, Italy
Low intervention, bush-trained vines, indigenous yeast, unfined and unfiltered
Winemaking couple: Piero Cella and Luciana Baso

Deep ruby with garnet rim. Roses bloom before your nose and as it opens butterfly lilacs, salt/sea breeze, figs, plums, cherries, and balsamic. Ok, maybe I’m crazy but it reminds me a little or Chef Stefano Baldantoni’s balsamic reduction which I am so in love with and could eat a vat. Tasting tart cherry mixed with that lovely balsamic reduction. There’s also blood orange zest, dried figs, dried oregano, salt, dates, and a dark, deep velvety richness. As it continues to grow…sweet, fragrant, smooth fine silk that’s not a princess…it’s a regal, rich, well dressed queen that in the end is draped in heavy tapestry garments.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: sweet and smooth

When we can travel again, my frequent flier points are definitely leaning toward Italy (sorry Spain even though you know how much I love you). How many Sardinian wines (this is my 4th Quartomoro) have I fallen for and this 100% Carignano really pulls me. I have a huge thing for Carignano from being at times a blending grape to an elevation and respect of a solo, which is what Piero and Luciana are doing with their Memorie di Vite project. This grape is so fragrant and has such depth when grown and treated right. Quartomoro’s ungrafted pre filloxera vineyard (in Sulcis) was originally planted back in 1967 (before I was born) by a family friend and has zero chemicals messing with it. What a exquisite expression they’ve managed to capture through love and care of this historic, native grape. Ok, that does it. I’m changing my Babbel subscription back to Italian, and when the time comes my bags will be packed. Ciao!

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A Delicate Harmony

Unlitro 2019
Toscana Rosso IGT
Roccatederighi, Maremma, Toscana, Italy
40% Alicante Nero (aka Grenache), 25% Mourvedre, 15% Carignano, 15% Sangiovese, 5% Alicante Bouschet
Biodynamic, unfined, and unfiltered
Founders: Elisabetta Foradori, and her friends Giovanni Podini and Thomas Widmann
Winemaker: Marco Tait

Bright ruby garnet. As expected cherry is the first thing that hits your nose. Next is smoke, plum, salt some tiny flowers with a kick of funk. As it opens throw in a dash of spice and singed orange peel. When it hits your tongue you already know first thing is again cherry. Again smoke and some bio funk is still lingering. After letting it settle a bit there’s tangy fruit and definitely orange. It’s a natural light red, that you’re happy it comes in a liter format, because you’re going to want more than one glass. My second visit with this bottle, ok I chilled it. Don’t be insulted. It’s bleeping hot. It’s much the same but a little more body. I love it and it’s still  an easy picnic or pizza wine, but just elevated. Less tang and more velvet

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: Tangy and smoky

You might remember the incredible winemaker Elisabetta Foradori, from a previous post about her family’s winery Agricola Foradori and her devotion to natural/biodynamic wine. She and her friends Giovanni Podini and Thomas Widmann, started Ampeleia back in 2002. From what I am reading on their site, Thomas Widmann left them in 2009, and there is a “it takes a village” style team that help with all the aspects of how a winery runs. Also not to be left out is Marco Tait who has been their winemaker from day one. He has a beautiful section on their site I just discovered. It’s a personal blog of sorts with musings on the passion and hardwork put into this biodynamic winery, the vineyards, learning to listen to the earth, trust the grapes, and more. At the end of one of the entries, this Goethe quote sums it all up: “It is so pleasant to explore nature and ourselves at the same time, without causing violence neither to Nature nor to our spirit, bringing us both, together, to a balance, to a delicate harmony”.

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Cantina Argiolas
Turriga 2011
Isola dei Nuraghi IGT
Sardegna Italy
Cannonau (mostly) with Carignano, Bovale Sardo, Malvasia Nera

Hesitantly opened back in 2018. One of my favorites, and I didn’t know when I would get it again. From what I remember of that night (and my sparse notes), it was deep, dreamy, dark fruit, some herbal thing like fennel, and as it grew chocolate/coffee. Elegant and strong and just filled with love. Was a gift from my dear, but here is the problematic part, did he get it here or was it a bottle he brought me back from Basel? Shhh… don’t tell him I can’t sort where my present came from. I swear my brain has been so fried memory-wise since lockdown, and I didn’t take a picture of the back of the bottle. It may have come from Paul Ullrich AG in Basel or it could have come from D.O.C. Wine Shop. It’s a coin toss at this point, so giving both a nod of credit. Either way, still one of the Sardinian wines I ABSOLUTELY LOVE! Oh, and this is from the pre-Cheez-It’s era.

Cantina Argiolas

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Deep Velvet

Cantina Tondini
Taroni 2016
Isola dei Nuraghi IGT 
Calangianus Sassari Sardegna Italy
Cagnulari 20%, Cannonau 20%, Carignano 20%, Nebbiolo 20%, Sangiovese 20%

Holding up my glass next to the window, and the color is deep shining ruby. Swirl and sniff…pine and cedar syrup, then smoke, cherries, prunes, cola, and old book leather. You all still remember books, right? Reading digital books just doesn’t have the joy of holding a real physical book that has a gentle on the eyes font. Now for the taste, and there’s cherries, blueberries, plummy, spice and some smoke. This is soooo smooth, and deep dark richness. As much as I hate using this term, but I can’t think of anything better, this is one sexy wine.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: This is deep velvet underground.

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A Town of Murals

Cantina Orgosa di Musina Giuseppe
Nero di Orgosa
Vino Rosso
Orgosolo Sardinia Italy
Cannonau 80%, Carignano and Sangue di Cristo 20%

This wine is “pretty in purple” and definitely no filtering. Sniff and here’s the hay, then I’m in a field of lilacs and other purple flowers. Give it a chance to air out and delicious dark fruit, salt, caramel, cocoa, and smoke. Onto the first sip and the hay is still hanging around a little bit. There’s a little tingle, some earthiness and a pop of tart and pepper. Sip some more and there’s dried fruit (cherry, cranberry & fig). Such complexity of flavors and such a light body. Bitter herbs, stone and even some cherry pop. 

Pairs with Cheez-Its: smooth tingle, fruity, sweetness 

Cantina Orgosa is driven by the winemaker Giuseppe Musina, and he keeps everything biodynamic. I applaud his use of native grapes, and from what I’m reading his winery is the first one to produce bottled wine in Orgosolo. Also love that the label on the bottle of Nero di Orgosa is a pic of one of the local murals. Perusing their Facebook Page photos and oh how I wish I could see this in person. The vineyard is just lush and beautiful. There’s pics of the harvest happening by hand and then happy gatherings that must be of some celebratory meal. Honestly, how great would it be to have a large group of your friends gathered around a long table, passing plates and opening wine. 

The comune of Orgosolo is very well known for its before mentioned murals and some call it a “museum town” since you only have to walk and you are immersed in these paintings. From what I’m reading the first mural appeared in 1969 and was signed by Dioniso (which was either a group of anarchists, or an anarchist theater troupe from Milan). Murals were continued in the 70s and 80s led by an art teacher Francesco Del Casino, some of his students, and others. I’m not sure who is continuing them now. There are depictions of war, peace, politics, protest, 9/11, the fall of Saddam, independent declarations, simple family life, love, religion, and even a man holding a goat. Found on YouTube (by Tassos Diavatis), here’s an extensive video of these artworks

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